Skip to main content

Full text of "NightRider"

See other formats

until his muscles and nerves told him when he struck tr
posture that was his accustomed one for sleep.

Now he thought of May, and tried to visualize her alos
in the shadowy big bed in his house.   She had very blond
hair, and it would be loose on the pillow, on which her hea.
would seem small, like a child's head.   She was a smallis]
woman, smaller than medium, and when she slept she seemei
even smaller, as though the spark of her vitality withdrew
deeply inward to secret recesses and let her body shrink j
little, but perfectly and smoothly to scale.   Once or twice
noticing this, he had thought with a despairing presentiment
of loss how small she would look after she was dead.   Nov\
he tried to see how she must look sleeping alone in the big
bed.  She always curled up when she slept, her hands lying
loosely together at her chin and her knees drawn up.   That
made her look even smaller, too.   She always went to sleep
with her head on his right arm.   Always, after he himself
had slept for a little while, he would wake and cautiously
withdraw his arm.  She would never even stir.

But now he could not sleep. Men moved down the hall
outside his door, talking in vague, drunken voices. One of
them lurched heavily against the wall, shaking it, and the
others laughed. And the singing had begun again in the
street, broken now by shouts. Drunk, too, he reckoned. The
men in the hall had now gone into the room adjoining his
own. They continued their talk and laughter. His irrita-
tion gave way to a kind of disgust as his imagination pre-
sented to him that adjoining room, lit by a hanging electric
Wfe* and the almost-realized smell of sour whisky-breath,
aai the flushed, loose faces of the .men who were there.
They* too, were singing now. They would have their arms
Alped about each other's shoulders with their hot, sweaty
few ctose together while they sang. They would be like
fcwfiiew txnigta slapping each other on the back and mixing

«alkg breaths in song.

ife nAd wer again and tried to cut out the sound by
*""—*—; fa 011^ piHow against his exposed ear.   That